Together, we can turn austerity into abundance - from Ellen Brown

PBI 2019 Campaign for Public Banks


Public banks can turn austerity into prosperity

Year-end appeal from Ellen Brown, Chair of the Public Banking Institute

Pundits warn that 2019 could be the start of the next Great Recession and that environmental devastation looms on the horizon. But solutions ARE possible with adequate public funding, and this funding can be generated with a network of local and national public banks. It’s not too late to turn things around, but more people need to know how, and soon. Your financial support now will help fund our 2019 Campaign for Public Banks to create the BIG PUSH we need now to get public banks established. You can sign on to support and contribute here.

The time is now to launch a National Campaign for Public Banks!

PBI’s vision is to recapture the money power from the Wall Street behemoths that control our economy and return it to the people. The Public Banking Institute has been your hub for education, resources and support for public banking across the country since 2011 and the successes of the movement have grown dramatically in recent years. In 2016 we committed to a big drive that would ensure that five public banks would be well on their way to being established by 2020, and that work is now bearing fruit.

Momentum is building in the public banking movement, and 2019 promises to be another big year:

  • Public banks have been introduced at the federal level as a funding mechanism for the Green New Deal put forward by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), which is now supported by 31 members of the House.
  • A ballot measure for a city-owned bank introduced by the president of the Los Angeles City Council in July won 44 percent of the vote in November indicating that round two, already in process, is likely to succeed.
  • The Washington State public banking caucus has 23 senate members — nearly a majority — pursuing a state-owned bank that will include cities and counties as participating members. The legislature has allocated $480,000 for a business plan needed to apply for a bank charter, due to be completed in June 2019.
  • Across the nation, more than 25 initiatives for public banks are actively being pursued, by progressives and conservatives; and over 60 organizations are promoting public banks.
2018 The Year of the Public Bank map


100 years is long enough

2019 is also the centennial anniversary of the Bank of North Dakota, the nation’s only state-owned depository bank and a groundbreaker in showing what public banking can do for local economies. One hundred years after BND’s founding, it is  time to apply the public banking model nationwide.

We have seen a new wave of millennials in action with the recent public banking movements in Los Angeles and New York. What the public doesn’t see is the progress being made in less visible parts of the country. From places as unexpected as West Virginia, Connecticut, and Texas, an emerging generation of young people, newly-elected legislators, and municipal officials have contacted the Public Banking Institute wanting to know how they can create a public bank.

We want to inspire and empower this motivated generation with the vision of what can be achieved when we return the business of banking to the commons and redirect capital into local communities for public purposes.

We invite you to join us in this campaign.

The Campaign for Public Banks to launch in 2019 will help unite and align the various efforts underway across the country. This is a role the Public Banking Institute is uniquely qualified to perform. PBI is educational, nonpartisan, supportive of local citizen efforts, and will continue to bring expertise and resources to a national stage by providing spokespeople and a point of contact for news and media sources.

We will work in collaboration with other public banking organizations and related groups, align with efforts brought forward for the Green New Deal, and connect national and local legislators to the issue.

The campaign will bring public banking further into focus for writers and commentators, and raise its national visibility so it can become common knowledge and an integral part of the conversation about policy solutions for key issues (student debt, housing, environment, infrastructure). It can also help support and unite the many voices that have long been ignored and disenfranchised. 

The Campaign for Public Banks is not just about saving money for local governments. It is about social and economic justice.

You can sign on to support our Campaign and contribute here with whatever level of financial support is within your means. Large or small, your gift will help us make the big push that is so critical now.

You can contact Cimbria at with any questions, or send a check to this address:
Public Banking Institute
19197 Golden Valley Road, No. 903
Santa Clarita, California 91387

Thank you for all the years of support. Wishing you the best of the season and an abundant 2019 —

Ellen Brown for the board and staff of the Public Banking Institute

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